Will Putin and Trump meet in Vienna?
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US leader Donald Trump discussed during their latest telephone conversation that Vienna could be one of the cities to host their bilateral meeting, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"Various cities, which can be suitable for a meeting between the two presidents, are often considered," he noted. "The two presidents discussed the need for such a meeting during their latest telephone conversation, including that Vienna could be such a city," the Kremlin spokesman said.
At the same time, he added that there are no specific agreements on the issue ye. "However, there are no specific agreements, specific understandings or specific discussion at the moment. That is, nothing has changed in this respect," TASS cited Peskov as saying.
When asked whether Putin discussed the possible meeting in Vienna with Austria’s Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the spokesman said, "It was mentioned that Vienna could be such a city." He noted, however, that the issue is the Russian-US discussion point.
First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, a representative of the legislative body of the Jewish Autonomous Region, Vladimir Dzhabarov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the causes of uncertainty as to the Putin-Trump summit should be sought in Washington, not in Moscow. "Vladimir Vladimirovich always said he was ready for negotiations and cooperation. Trump has his own point of view on this issue, for example, at first he almost nearly canceled his meeting with Kim Jong-un, but then appointed it again. Therefore, I think everything depends on Trump's final decision on the negotiations, and then real preparations for the summit will be started," he said.
According to the senator, it is quite likely that Putin and Trump will not meet until the next presidential election in the United States. "Trump is not a predictable politician, nothing can be ruled out. Although logic should tell Trump that he can no longer retreat. Even his recent statement that Russia needs to be returned to G8 suggests that the US president thinks about it more and more often. Most likely, the meeting will still take place," Vladimir Dzhabarov predicts.
Director of the Institute of Strategic Planning and Forecasting, Professor Alexander Gusev, drew attention to the non-randomness of the choice of Vienna as a potential venue for the meeting. "Vladimir Putin visited Austria recently, held talks with the country's leadership, apparently, the possibility of holding a meeting of the leaders of Russia and the United States in Vienna, and it is likely this idea was approved. It would be fine for us. Austria understands that sanctions against Russia should be lifted, it wants the restrictions to be at least weakened in the part in which Austria is interested. It should be noted that the sanctions are not beneficial for the Austrians as well, their losses amounted to approximately $750 million," he said, adding that Vienna would be the most favorable option in terms of safety, as the Austrian secret service work very good.
"As for delaying the talks on the meeting, the White House is now more concerned about meeting with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-no on June 12 in Singapore. However, the Trump administration at least made it clear that they are ready to meet in neutral territory. Russian-US relations are at an extremely low point, it's been a year and a half since Trump's inauguration, but an official meeting has not took place yet. But I'm sure that after June 12, the Russian and US sides will try to schedule the meeting as soon as possible. In any case, no matter how the relations between Russia and the United States develop, the official meeting of the two presidents will necessarily take place," Alexander Gusev said.